May 2 - While both U.S. and Pakistan welcomed the death of bin Laden, his demise is unlikely to mend Washington's frayed ties with Islamabad. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Cheers and elation outside the White House on news of Osama bin Laden's death. But while the news may be welcome, bin Laden's demise is unlikely to mend the U.S. administration's severely frayed ties with Islamabad. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton focused on the positive. SOUNDBITE: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, saying (English): "As the president made clear, it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation over a number of years now, with Pakistan, has contributed greatly to our efforts to dismantle Al Qaida. And, in fact, cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding. You know, going forward, we are absolutely committed to continuing that cooperation. U.S. officials say Osama bin Laden was shot to death in Abbottabad, near Pakistan's capital, after a decade-long quest to snare the man behind the Sept. 11 attacks. Pakistan was informed after the attack. Brain Katulis is with the Center for American Progress. SOUNDBITE: Brain Katulis of the Center for American Progress, saying (English): "This operation, a unilateral U.S.. operation in the heart of Pakistan is deeply embarrassing to the Pakistani government and I hope this sends a message that we are serious about defeating the threat that is common to us and to Pakistan and that is better if we work together on issues as opposed to doing this and going alone. We would prefer to work with the pakistanis, but we need them to adopt a different posture." The location of the compound is also significant. SOUNDBITE: Brain Katulis of the Center for American Progress, saying (English): "It's quite curious to me that the brigade of the second division of the pakistani army can be located there and a major military academy akin to our West Point here in the United STates, it seems quite suspicious to me that somebody in the Pakistani establishment did not know that bin Laden was there, and I hope there is a thorough investigation into figuring our who knew what because I think it's an important element moving forward with the bi-lateral relationship." During the Bush Administration Pakistan became a key ally in the war on terror. But recently, ties with Islamabad, strained close to a breaking point over U.S. drone attacks on insurgents along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan and over Pakistan's six-week imprisonment of a CIA contractor earlier this year. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters